Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Scot M. Allgood


Scot M. Allgood


Tom Lee


Jana Darrington


The purpose of this study was to examine the types of connection rituals and negotiation patterns that newlywed couples use in their marriage. Past research has shown that rituals can have a positive effect on marital satisfaction . Five research questions guided the study: (1) Who initiates rituals and the frequency in which the rituals are performed? What process does the couple go through to negotiate them? (2) What percentage of rituals do newlywed couples take from their family of origin? (3) Are women the "kin keepers" in their family/relationship? (4) Are there certain factors newlyweds take into consideration when negotiating? and (5) Are there some rituals more important to marital satisfaction?

The research questions were tested with data from twenty newlywed couples who completed a survey designed specifically for this study. Results found that women initiate rituals more frequently in newlywed couples, verbal communication was the highest reported process couples go through to negotiate, family of origin practices are more often taken from the wife's family, and there are connection rituals both for husbands and wives that aid to their marital sati satisfaction. Implications and suggestions for future research are also presented.